Surviving the Paycheck Desert: How to Save for Summer
       The end of June has arrived, and you are gaping at your bank account balance, trying to figure out how you're going to survive July, and maybe August too. You're considering whether those Starbucks barista position or Pizza Hut delivery jobs are worth your time. But the money has to come from somewhere...
       Perhaps you know the feeling?
       For half my teaching career, I have had two months of unpaid summer. For the other half, one month. So I know the struggle.  I thought I would share my solution, which on the surface might seem like a simple solution, but all the years we have done it, we survived the year and the summer.
       First, we build a budget. We spend every dollar on paper before the month begins. We give every dollar a name. This $51 dollars goes to home internet. This $550, groceries and living expenses. We've been using the truly amazing Good Budget app for 4 years now, and we absolutely love it (they didn't even pay us to say that!). On the iPhone and Android, we've been on budget the whole time, which has helped us get out of debt and save for those bone dry summer paycheck months.
       To make sure we save the right amount, we figure how much we need to survive a month. Then we divide by 11 months ... not 12, since we don't get that extra paycheck. Then, as simple as this sounds, we save that much each month and by the time that no-paycheck month arrives, we have a whole month of $$$ saved up!
       And if your school district doesn't pay you for 2 months, you've gotta divide by 10 and save accordingly.
       You're welcome to get a job over the summer too to get a little extra spending money, but we always made sure to save enough, in case we couldn't get or didn't want to get an extra summer job.

       A follow-up topic is "How to save for summer traveling too!" And the strategy ain't that much different. In addition to your summer dry-bones month, you've gotta sock away money each month for your summer traveling plans. It's hard, but you can do it without throwing it all on the plastic cursed credit cards. Slow and steady wins a vacation.

Photo Copyright by Moyan Brenn (used with permission)

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  1. Our local credit union does it for me which I love! Since I would have a hard time not "dipping" into money I can touch. I took them my w2 from the previous year and they figured out how to make that amount divide evenly into 12 equal (or I'm sure close to) payments. I don't have to worry about it and in July and August I get a regular pay check even though I didn't work!

    1. Good job getting that taken care of! Those kinds of steps take a lot of discipline and focus. But don't they feel so good when the time comes around?! :)


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